Anthropology/Introduction/Material culture

Material culture refers to artifacts like furniture, farm tools, toys, buttons, arrowheads, appliances, ceramics, houses, buildings or any thing made or modified by human beings. Artifacts are used as sources of information about the behavior and social patterns of a society or community and are used to interpret values, belief systems, ideas or attitudes. As Jules Prown, pre-eminent art historian, once stated: "The term materials culture thus refers to both the subject mater or the study, material, and to its purpose, the understanding of culture."